Generational Baton (Vayakhel)
My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him that can get it. -John Bunyan
For the construction of the Tabernacle, the Torah states that God bestowed wisdom on a variety of individuals. Suddenly, they had the knowledge, the expertise required for the woodwork, the metalwork, the tapestry-work, for the creation of the representation of God’s abode on Earth.
The Berdichever highlights that the creation of the Tabernacle parallels the creation of the world. The divinely-inspired artisans who constructed the Tabernacle found themselves with infinite understanding and capabilities, yet they circumscribed their efforts. They left something for successive generations to do.
The Berdichever explains that in every generation, the righteous of that generation create heaven and earth anew. By their delving in the Torah, by continually finding new understandings in the Torah, they are continuing the labor of the divinely-inspired artisans who constructed the Tabernacle. They are creating an abode for God on Earth. They are carrying the eternal baton that our ancestors left for us. They are continuing the race, relaying from one generation to the next the never-ending divine work.
There is something about the Torah in general, and the Tabernacle and its utensils in particular, which hides secrets of creation, secrets of the connection between heaven and earth, secrets as to the conduit between the upper worlds and the lower worlds, secrets of our very existence, purpose and future.
May we uncover some of those secrets and get a glimpse of what a heavenly earth looks like.
To the Anglo community of Tzfat, for a very warm welcome.